Dees and Responte are final two ASEWU presidential candidates

ASEWU candidate debate set for April 23 from 5-7 p.m.

Dees+and+Responte+are+final+two+ASEWU+presidential+candidates

By Randle Kinswa, News Editor

The ASEWU primaries are over and almost all contested races are air tight. The presidential race between Lloyd Dees and 2019 presidential runner-up, Reilly Responte, are among the numerous tight races this year. 

Responte lost last year’s election for the president position to current ASEWU President Key Baker by 11 votes. 

In the primary this past week Dees beat Responte by 44 votes, 363-319. 

The presidential debate will be held virtually on April 23 from 5-7 p.m on EagleSync. 

About these candidates:

Dees has held and currently holds numerous positions at EWU. He’s a current member of both the ASEWU Finance Committee and Election Board. Dees was the president of his dorm hall and is currently the president of his fraternity, Alpha Omega Tau. 

Responte has been involved at EWU since he was a freshman. Responte served as the recruitment chair for his fraternity, Beta Theta Phi, his entire freshman year. He has been the president of Beta Theta Phi for two years. This past year he has been a member of ASEWU Superior Court Justice and is the Vice-Chair of the Services and Activities Committee. 

COVID-19: 

Dees said the leaders of campus need to hold a town hall in the fall in order to hear student problems regarding COVID-19.

“I honestly think that the first or second week of campus that the President, the head of student affairs and the provost needs to have a town hall in the PUB and hear the problems students have,” Dees said.

 Responte said he would like to provide a safe place for students, if in-person classes resume in the fall. 

“Make students know that this is a safe place to be, and definitely would like to keep people involved within the limitations,” Responte said. 

Student Engagement:

Dees said that EWU needs student recruiters.

“When it comes to recruiting students, you really have to find out what students want,” Dees said. “I know other universities have student recruiters and I think we should do that.” 

Responte said he would give students a survey of the types of activities and events students would like to see. 

“One of the first things I plan on doing if I’m elected is doing a survey,” Responte said. “Getting the information of what students want (in general) … and what students want from student government.”

Student Enrollment:

Dees said students joining clubs could help enrollment increase.  

“I honestly think that students need to start reaching out and joining academic clubs,” Dees said. “A lot of students don’t see the value of being in a club … the more you’re involved the better your college experience will be overall.”

Responte said one of the things that would help getting enrollment increase is to get ASEWU involved with people in orientation, dorm halls and transfer students.

“If we set the cornerstone,” Responte said, “and set these recruiting tactics to students when they first step on campus … then they will be more than likely involved with the community.”

Budget Crisis:

Dees said that it feels as if the board does not support some programs as much as they support football. 

“It comes back to what the university deems important,” Dees said. “It’s pretty obvious to students that (the Board of Trustees) care about football … but sometimes it feels as if they don’t support other things on campus.”

Dees also said there needs to be focus groups for students on campus.

“I really think that small focus groups could definitely be better at helping the university make the budget,” Dees said. “Because right now there are five people making the decision for 20,000.”

Responte said that he has been involved with the budget for two years and would be willing to cut part of ASEWU’s funding. 

“I’ve been very fortunate to be involved with that budget for the past two years,” Responte said. “We have been in favor of cutting ASEWU’s budget for the past few years and I am in favor of doing that again.”

 Responte said that ASEWU is supposed to connect the students to the campus administration and doesn’t require that much money. 

“I would seek out co-sponsorships,” Responte said. “There is money elsewhere … there are clubs that are wanting to pay the money to promote their name … places like the Multicultural Center that would love to help fund stuff regarding diversity.” 

Protest:

Dees said EWU was’t proactive at the protest this past fall, and the university should have held a town hall about the protest after it happened.

“I truly think that the university could have done a better job,” Dees said. “I think the email that was sent out by the President was a disservice to this community.” 

Responte said that the campus administration and ASEWU did not handle the protest well, and said that parts of the protest reminded him of a riot. 

“Our administration can do more to protect students,” Responte said. “ASEWU also did not handle it perfectly … looking back at some of the videos that were posted from the preacher online and some parts seemed almost like a riot.”

Responte said that he believes in peaceful protesting, but believes that there is a right way to protest.

“I am all for students protesting on campus,” Responte said. “But there is definitely a right way to do it and a peaceful way to do it … where everyone’s message can be heard.”